North Americans are in Pain

A National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) published in 2012 revealed that most North American adults have experienced some level of pain, from brief to more lasting pain and from relatively minor to more severe pain. An estimated 11.2% of adults had pain every day for the preceding 3 months and 17.6% of adults experience severe levels of pain. The survey also showed that those with severe pain were more likely to have a worse health status.


Alternative Health Approaches:


Pain is one of the leading reasons North Americans turn to alternative health approaches such as chiropractic, acupuncture and massage to enable them to manage pain, as well as other symptoms that are not well managed with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments.


Adults in the two most severe pain groups were likely to have worse health status, use more health care services and suffer from more disability than those with less severe pain. However, approximately half of individuals with the most severe pain still rated their overall health as good or better.


A separate National Institute of Health article on chronic pain addressed the safety and effectiveness of alternative health approaches for chronic pain. This article stated “although many of the alternative approaches studied for chronic pain have good safety records, that doesn’t mean that they’re risk-free for everyone. Your age, health, special circumstances (such as pregnancy), and medicines or supplements that you take may affect the safety of alternative approaches … a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that several of these approaches, including spinal adjustment, acupuncture, massage, and yoga, may help to manage some painful conditions.


Safe and Effective Chiropractic Care:


A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that services provided by chiropractic care is both safe and effective and does not carry the side effects of narcotics which have become a mainstream approach to chronic pain.


“Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture.”[i]


“Chiropractic Adjustment Therapy offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning (when compared with only standard care) for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age who have acute low back pain.” [ii] This study compared the same age group who were using standard medical care.


“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”[iii]


In a randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcome results showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.[iv]


In Comparison to Other Treatment Alternatives:


Chiropractic provides greater short-term reduction in self-reported disability and pain, compared with medical care. 94% of the chiropractic patients achieved a greater reduction in pain compared with 69% of those under medical care.[v]


Reduced odds of surgery were observed for those who first had chiropractic care. 42% of workers with back injuries who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.[vi]


The evidence in these studies strongly supports the natural, whole-body and cost-effective approach of chiropractic care for a variety of conditions

[i] Goodman et al. (2013), Journal of the American Medical Association

[ii] Goertz et al. (2013), The Spine Journal

[iii] Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

[iv] Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal

[v] Schneider et al (2015), The Spine Journal

[vi] Keeney et al (2012), The Spine Journal


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